The 2023 Venice Boat Show closes with over 30 thousand visitors.
After five intense days amidst yachts and super yachts, sustainable hulls, sailing boats, and side events aimed at all ages and different boating targets, the Venice Boat Show closed its fourth edition today. The number of visitors exceeded 30 thousand, proving to be an increasingly important and central event for Venice.
More than 30 thousand people visited the Arsenale during the five days that marked the fourth edition of the Venice Boat Show, arriving from all over the Adriatic basin and Eastern Europe, for a total of thirty foreign countries. The event is thus confirmed as fundamental to this sector of the market, which is still growing and finding new ideas every season.
What was once known as the world’s largest shipyard in the past days hosted the giants of international yachting, true gems that, year after year, break records in terms of size, luxury, design, technology and comfort. The Venice Boat Show, with ever-increasing numbers both quantitatively and qualitatively, has thus become a reference point for boating enthusiasts, renewing the deep bond between Venice and the sea. The event – organised by Vela spa on behalf of the City of Venice and in cooperation with the Italian Navy for the extraordinary opening of the Arsenale – is supported by the Government and the Region. The Venice Boat Show officially opened on the 31st of May and saw the participation of the President of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa, the Vice-President and Minister for Transport and Infrastructures Matteo Salvini, the President of the the National Council for Economy and Labour (CNEL) Renato Brunetta, the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, Admiral Enrico Credendino, Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, and Matteo Zoppas, President of the Italian Trade Agency, who were welcomed by the Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro. Once again, the event was organised according to a sustainable event management system and received the prestigious ISO 20121: 2012 certification from RINA Spa.
The Mayor of the City Luigi Brugnaro declared: “The Arsenal has confirmed itself as the home of the peoples of the sea, which includes not only those who strolled the piers searching for their ideal boat, but also many dedicated workers, researchers and politicians. We have seen great interest around the vessels presented, and equally great satisfaction from the shipyards involved. The Venice Boat Show was also the ideal theatre for the first convention of Fondazione Venezia Capitale Mondiale della Sostenibilità (Venice Sustainability Foundation), highlighting the attention we dedicate to this topic which remains fundamental for our future, and even more so for that of our youth. A sustainability we have chosen to intertwine with the sea, which opens new scenarios for applications of technological research on an industrial scale, with an entire pier dedicated to green sea travel as well as the 154 million euro investment by the Avm/Actv group in order to make our fleet of water buses ever greener”.
Mayor Brugnaro also communicated the dates for next year: “The upcoming edition will be held from the 29th of May to the 2nd of June: this year the Venice Boat Show was beautiful, but the next one will be even better. We await all visitors who wish to return and repeat this incredible experience with us. These five days have affirmed the will to transform this exhibition into a central event not only for our city, but also for the eastern Mediterranean, as the Boat Show has demonstrated to be able to hold all the requirements for becoming a point of reference for the development and the economic growth of Italy”.
Beyond visiting the vessels, the Venice Boat Show was also the stage for some fifty scientific meetings such as conventions, conferences and presentations on the theme of sustainability, but also included laboratories, water demonstrations and learning activities for children and their families. The ancient “Tese”, once productive centres for the Most Serene Republic, hosted traditional Venetian shipbuilding, nautical installations and accessories as well as the latest innovations in propulsion technology.
“I would like to thank all those who chose to come to Venice, from the smallest companies to the largest, the many visitors which had the opportunity to arrive directly by boat, the Italian Navy and all our armed forces, the employees of our participating agencies, from Vela to the Avm/Actv group, Venis, Veritas, Fondazione Musei Civici (the Civic Museums Foundation), the Municipality and the Metropolitan City – added the Mayor – My thanks also go to those workers (hostesses, stand personnel, technicians, hospitality and culinary staff, sailors, commercialists, cleaners, transports and other staff) who worked diligently so that everything could go to plan. Finally, I thank the Government and the Veneto Region who honoured us with their presence, understanding just how strategic a sector sea travel truly is for our country, which boasts 8,000 km of coastline”.
The Venice Boat Show saw the presence of 300 boats, 240 of which in the water, for a total ship length of 2.7 kilometres, 220 exhibitors, 180 of which Italian (including Ferretti Group, Azimut Benetti, Solaris Yacht, Sanlorenzo Yacht, Pardo, Arcadia, Invictus, Absolute and FIM), 2,000 operators, more than 500 staff, 448 accredited journalists, 33 foreign operators and journalists brought by the Italian Trade Agency (coming from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Spain, Serbia, the United Kingdom), over 50 cultural events such as conventions and talk shows, the greater part of which dedicated to the theme of sustainability, the health of the sea and new propulsion technologies, both electrical and hybrid.
“With great satisfaction the Venice Boat Show has closed, while a splendid opportunity for sea travel and the economic benefits connected to this tourism has opened. I am increasingly convinced that the Upper Adriatic and Venice can become our own French Riviera, and many elements are in our favour for this endeavour, such as the local beauty and the unparalleled year round draw of Venice itself – stated Alberto Galassi, CEO of Ferretti Group – We believed in the Boat Show when other saw us as mere dreamers, just as now we believe that Italian sea going, which by itself accounts for half of global orders, can give solidity to this project, transforming the stretch of coast which goes from Venice to Trieste into an international hub of great interest for leisurely sea travel”.
The Solaris Yachts shipyard echoes these sentiments, present in both the motorised and sailing sectors. Their sales manager Vincenzo De Maria said: “We are truly satisfied with the organisation and end result of the Boat Show, which goes beyond our expectations. Some of our clients reached us by boat, by way of the convention for docking offered by the Show”.
Among the expositors arriving from abroad is Pegasus Yachts, which presented their 50 footer vessel to the public in both its traditional and electric versions. This same boat also won the Ostar in 2022, the solo transatlantic crossing regatta. “We are grateful to the Venice Boat Show: this is the third edition we attend and we have seen a great deal of development during these years, I believe it will continue to grow – says Marko Pas, founder of the Croatian shipyard – I also believe this Boat Show will become a point of reference just as Genova and Cannes are. We are working on the American market and Venice is the ideal city for those who come from afar: after all, there are many direct flights from the largest cities in the States. Venice will continue to be our home”.
In the motorised sector, the foreign presence is naturally more consistent with expositors arriving from Turkey, such as the Sirena Yacht shipyard which exhibited their Sirena 58, and from Brittany, an area in France with a high density of shipyards which exhibited the Fountaine Pajot 67. Moreover, Sunseeker arrived from the United Kingdom with four vessels, including the Superhawk 55 and the Manhattan 65. Perhaps the best representation of the interest from foreign nations in the Boat Show was the Greek shipyard Omikron, which presented its newly launched vessel in Athens just weeks before the commencement of the exhibition and arrived inside the Arsenale by sea. Nikolas Dendrinos, the administrator of the shipyard says “We could not have chosen a better place for the launch of our new brand and ship concept Omikron OT-60. This is a very well organised Boat Show in an incredible location, which was perfect for us to exhibit our vessel. We received a great amount of interest and can already confirm we will certainly be present next year as well”.
“A project such as the Venice Boat Show – reminded the Operative Director of Vela spa Fabrizio D’Oria – demands continuous work where the challenge is how to nurture the qualitative and quantitative growth of the exhibition. This edition reassured us we are indeed going in the right direction. While the Venice Boat Show today closes its doors, we immediately begin working towards next year’s edition”.
“The exhibitors are relaying to us their commercial success, achieved in the 5 intense days of the Show. This is the best feedback we could have hoped for as it will further facilitate the growth of the fifth edition of the Boat Show in 2024” added the Commercial Director Alberto Bozzo.
The Venice Boat Show was also a hub of televised products and a launchpad for traditional fixtures in the city’s calendar, foremost amongst them the Palio delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare (Ancient Maritime Republics Regatta) which aired nationally on Tg2. On the closing day of the exhibition, beginning at 5.15 PM on the national channel Rai3, aired a one hour Special episode, focused on sea travel, with guests, interviews, insights and connections to the various components of the Boat Show in the historic heart of Venice.
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